Hey, Mum, I still see you –
in an urn, in a cupboard,
in the corner of a room.
It’s not ideal but there it is –
you always were patient.
Other options were too tricky,
or busy, or expensive.
You’d say treats are for the living,
memories and motherhood,
a mixed bag.
Simple but not simplistic,
you are so widely dispersed.
In the garden, in the kitchen,
you go where we go
Here it aloud here.
Times are emotional, am I right? But you know, they always are, it’s just that sometimes we’re more aware of it. After the frenzy of blog activity in January this year I've had a month or so away (recovering...) but here are a few marvellous things that have made me feel even more emotional than usual this week:
1. A poetry round table as part of the StAnza festival.
Everything is online this year of course (which suits me better to be honest... I struggle to sit in quiet audiences in real life). The poet reading her work was Tishani Doshi and her most famous poem (Girls Are Coming out of the Woods) certainly brought a tear to my eye (and hers) yesterday for all too familiar reasons. I think it was actually her tears that prompted mine during the reading. She is very good on how to both hate and love the world around us.
2. The book no one is talking about this by Patricia Lockwood.
I saw it mentioned on one of author David Nicholls’ Twitter book launch days and bought a copy (and not from Amazon...). It is not an easy book to get into (especially if you are aged, like me, over 50 and possibly guilty of using all the wrong emojis) but I persisted and it is so worth it - such lovely writing! Poets are all very well but I do often feel that many of the most poetic writers are people who work in other areas (see also this week Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald and too much music to mention). On some days I feel like I only really like about 5 poems in the whole history of literature (bah humbug). On a related note, daughter and I also listened to Nicholls himself talking about adapting novels for the screen this week (you can catch up with that for free here).
3. The radio shows on BBC 6 Music in the 6 Music Artist in Residence series
And in particular the ones curated recently by Arlo Parks. These are a joy, joy, joy but the first of her six programmes only has one day left on the player so don’t hang about. I am also really enjoying a weekly programme on BBC Radio Scotland (the Roddy Hart Show on Tuesday evenings at 10pm). In this week’s show his album of note was Arab Strap’s As Days Get Dark and I particularly enjoyed the spoken part of Tears on Tour (“what would you call the opposite of a comedian?” etc.). Well, a poet maybe...
Anyway, more when it comes.
About the photo - my Mum, Margaret Fox (formerly Parr, née Bryant), died in 2010 aged 86. Today I took her out into the garden for a photo shoot.